Malay combtail Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 21, 2022

The Malay combtail is a beautiful freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. They are a popular choice for aquariums because of their vibrant colors and interesting patterns.

This fish is also known as the Malayan sultan, Malayan blue, or Malayan peacock.

The Malay combtail is a peaceful fish that is relatively easy to care for. They are a good choice for beginner aquarists.

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about Malay combtail care.

Species overview

The Malay combtail (scientific name: Trichogaster microlepis) is a type of freshwater fish that’s native to Southeast Asia. They are most commonly found in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

This species of fish prefers slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation. This could be in the form of plants, driftwood, or anything else that provides them with hiding spots.

Malay combtails are relatively peaceful fish, although they can be a little territorial. They are known to coexist well with other fish, as long as there is plenty of space for everyone.

One of the most notable things about the Malay combtail is its long, flowing fins. These are much longer than what you would typically see on a fish of this size and really add to their overall appearance.


Malay combtail

The Malay combtail is a beautiful freshwater fish that is perfect for the community aquarium. These fish are a bright orange color with a black stripe running down the middle of their body (from head to tail).

This black stripe is bordered by a thin white line on each side. The Malay combtail also has a black dot on their caudal peduncle (the area right before their tail fin).

The fins on this fish are also orange with a black stripe running through the center. The dorsal and anal fins are slightly longer than the pectoral and caudal fins.

The Malay combtail is a peaceful fish that does well in a community aquarium. They are not aggressive and get along with most other fish.


The Malay combtail is a long-lived fish, with a lifespan of up to 20 years in captivity. Given the right conditions, these fish can thrive for many years.

As with any fish, the lifespan of a Malay combtail can be impacted by a number of factors. Poor water quality, for instance, can shorten their lifespan significantly.

Similarly, stress from bad tank mates or a suboptimal diet can also shorten their lifespan.


The average full-grown Malay combtail size is between 3 and 4 inches. These fish are relatively small, so they don’t need a lot of space to swim around and be happy.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for Malay combtails is 10 gallons. This is assuming you’re keeping them in a school of at least 5 or 6 fish (which you should).

We personally recommend a slightly larger tank if you can accommodate it. Every extra space will make a big difference and allow you to keep a larger school or more tank mates if you’re interested in a community tank.

Water Parameters

The Malay combtail is a freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. They are found in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

The Malay combtail is a peaceful fish that does well in a community tank. They are not aggressive and get along well with other fish.

The Malay combtail prefers a water temperature of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should be between 6.8 and 7.6. The water hardness should be between 5 and 15 dGH.

What To Put In Their Tank

Malay combtails are a species of fish that come from slow-moving rivers and streams in Southeast Asia.

In the wild, these fish are used to having a lot of places to hide and explore. fallen leaves, branches, and rocks are all common features in their natural habitats.

You’ll want to replicate this as best as you can in their aquarium. We recommend using a lot of plants and driftwood to achieve this.

Java moss, water wisteria, and hornwort are all great choices. You can also use live plants if you wish, but be aware that these fish are known to nibble on vegetation.

As for driftwood, make sure it’s completely submerged and doesn’t have any sharp edges. You don’t want your fish to get hurt on something in their tank!

The substrate in their aquarium can be either sand or gravel. These fish aren’t too picky when it comes to this. Just make sure it’s not too rough or sharp.

Common Diseases

The Malay combtail is a rather hearty fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. As with any other species of fish, there are a number of diseases that can affect them.

The most common one is ich. This is a very contagious disease that can quickly spread through an entire tank. It’s characterized by white spots on the body, fins, and gills of the fish.

If you notice this, it’s important to take quick action. Ich can be treated, but it’s important to do so before it gets out of hand.

Other potential diseases include bacterial infections, parasites, and fungal infections. These are all relatively common in the fish keeping world, so it’s important to be on the lookout for any signs of them.

The best way to prevent your Malay combtail from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable tank. This will help to keep the water quality high and will make your fish less susceptible to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

The Malay combtail is a peaceful and shy fish that does best in a community aquarium with other peaceful fish. They are known to be fin nippers, so it’s best to avoid keeping them with fish that have long, flowing fins.

These fish prefer to stay close to the bottom of the aquarium and are known to be excellent jumpers, so it’s important to have a tightly fitting lid on your tank.

Malay combtails are schooling fish and do best when kept in groups of 5 or more. When kept in small groups or alone, they can be shy and reclusive.

Tank Mates

The Malay combtail is a peaceful community fish that does well with a wide variety of tank mates.

These fish are relatively small, so they can be kept with other small to medium sized fish.

Malay combtails are also gentle fish that are unlikely to harass their tank mates.

Some good tank mates for Malay combtails include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Swordtails
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish


The Malay combtail is a beautiful fish that is not too difficult to breed.

To start, you will need to set up a breeding tank. This tank should be at least 10 gallons and should have a water heater set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank should also have a sponge filter.

Add some plants to the tank for the fry to hide in. You can also add a spawning mop or some Java moss.

When the tank is set up, it’s time to add the fish. You will need one male and two females. The male will be the larger of the three fish.

The fish will start to breed on their own. The female will lay the eggs and the male will fertilize them.

The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. The fry will be very small and will need to be fed baby brine shrimp or other small live foods.

As the fry grow, you can start to feed them pellets or flakes.


The Malay Combtail is a beautiful and unique fish that is perfect for the intermediate to advanced fish keeper.

They are not the easiest fish to care for, but they are definitely worth the effort.

These fish are very active and need a lot of space to swim, so make sure you have a tank that is at least 50 gallons.

They also need to be in a group of at least 6, so make sure you have the space for that as well.

Overall, we think the Malay Combtail is a great fish for someone who is looking for something a little different and is willing to put in the effort to care for them properly.